# Flag of Argentina

Use National flag and ensign 9:14 February 27, 1812 A triband flag with horizontal bands coloured light blue, white and light blue with the yellow Sun of May charged in the center. Manuel Belgrano Variant flag of Argentina Civil flag and ensign February 27, 1812 A triband flag with horizontal bands coloured light blue, white and light blue. Manuel Belgrano

The national flag of Argentina is a triband, composed of three equally wide horizontal bands coloured light blue, white and light blue. There are multiple interpretations on the reasons for those colors. The flag was created by Manuel Belgrano, in line with the recent creation of the Cockade of Argentina, and was first raised at the city of Rosario on February 27, 1812, during the Argentine War of Independence. The National Flag Memorial was later built on the site. The First Triumvirate did not approve the use of the flag, but the Asamblea del Año XIII allowed the use of the flag as a war flag. It was the Congress of Tucumán which finally designated it as the national flag, in 1816. A yellow Sun of May was added to the center in 1818.

The full flag featuring the sun is called the Official Ceremonial Flag (Spanish: Bandera Oficial de Ceremonia). The flag without the sun is considered the Ornamental Flag (Bandera de Ornato). While both versions are equally considered the national flag, the ornamental version must always be hoisted below the Official Ceremony Flag. In vexillological terms, the Official Ceremonial Flag is the civil, state and war flag and ensign, while the Ornamental Flag is an alternative civil flag and ensign.

## History

Manuel Belgrano holding the flag.

The flag of Argentina was created by Manuel Belgrano during the Argentine War of Independence. While in Rosario he noticed that both the royalist and patriotic forces were using the same colors, Spain's yellow and red. After realizing this, Manuel Belgrano created the Cockade of Argentina, which was approved by the First Triumvirate on February 18, 1812. Encouraged by this success, he created a flag of the same colours nine days later. It used the colors that were used by the Criollos during the May Revolution in 1810. However, recent research and studies would indicate that the colors were chosen from the Spanish Order of Charles III symbolizing the allegiance to the rightful, and then captive King Ferdinand VII of Spain. Most portraits about the creation or first uses of the flag show the modern design of it, but the flag of Macha, a very early design kept at the House of Freedom in Sucre, Bolivia was instead a vertical triband with two white bands and a light blue one in the middle.[1] The flag was first flown, for the soldiers to swear allegiance to it, on 27 February 1812, on the Batería Libertad (Liberty Battery), by the Paraná River. On that day, Belgrano said the following words:

Soldiers of the Fatherland, we have heretofore had the glory of wearing the national cockade; there (pointing to the Independence battery), on the Independence Battery, where our Government has recently had the honor of bestowing it upon, shall our weapons enlarge their glory. Let us swear to defeat our enemies, internal and external, and South America will become the temple of Independence and Freedom. In testament that you so swear it, say with me: LONG LIVE THE FATHERLAND! (after the oath) "Lord Captain and troops chosen for the first time for the Independence Battery: go, take possession of it and fulfill the oath you have just sworn today.[2]

The priest Juan Ignacio Gorriti blessing the flag.

The First Triumvirate was later replaced by the Second Triumvirate, with a more liberal ideology, who called the Asamblea del Año XIII. Despite being one of the original goals, it did not declare independency, and so neither approve the use of a national flag; nevertheless, the flag made by Belgrano was authorized to be used as a War flag. The first oath to the newly approved flag was on February 13, 1813, next to the Salado River, which as also known since then as "Río Juramento" ("Oath River"). The first battle fought with the approved flag was the Battle of Salta, a decisive patriotic victory that achieved the complete defeat of royalist Pío Tristán.

The flag would be finally declared the National flag by the Congress of Tucumán on July 20, 1816, shortly after the declaration of independence. The proposal was made by the deputy Juan José Paso and the text written by the deputy of Charcas, José Serrano. On February 25, 1818, the Congress (now working at Buenos Aires) included the Sun of May in the War flag, after the proposal of deputy Chorroarín. The sun was copied after the one that the first Argentine coin featured in 1813. It was subsequently decided to be part of the regular flag afterwards, and thus the sun no longer represents war.

The Argentine flag flying for the first time over a coastal battery on the shores of the Paraná, 27 February 1812

José de San Martín was aware of the new flag, but did not employ it during the Crossing of the Andes in 1817. Being a joint operation of both Argentine and Chilean forces, he thought that a new flag would be a better idea than using either the Argentine or Chilean flag. This led to the creation of the Flag of the Andes, used in the Crossing. This flag is currently used as provincial flag by the Mendoza province.

On June 8, 1938, president Roberto Ortiz sanctioned the national law Nº 12.361 declaring June 20 "Flag Day", a national holiday. The date was decided after the anniversary of Belgrano's death in 1820. In 1957 the National Flag Memorial (a 10,000 m² monumental complex) was inaugurated in Rosario to commemorate the creation of the flag, and the official Flag Day ceremonies have been customarily conducted in its vicinity since then.

In 1978 it was specified, among other measurements, that the Official Ceremony Flag should be 1.4 meters wide and 0.9 meters high, and that the sun must be embroidered.

## Design

Popular belief attributes the colors to those of the sky, clouds and the sun; some anthems to the flag like "Aurora" or "Salute to the flag" state so as well. However, historians usually disregard such idea, and attribute them to loyalty towards the House of Bourbon.

Since the May Revolution, the first times of the Argentine War of Independence claimed to be acting in behalf of the Spanish King Ferdinand VII, who was prisoner of Napoleón Bonaparte during the Peninsular War. Whether such loyalty was real or a trick to conceal independentism is a topic of dispute. The creation of a new flag with those colors would have been then a way to denote autonomy, while keeping the relations with the captive king alive.

### Shape and size

From 1978, the flag's official proportions are 9:14, and its official size is 0.9 by 1.4 meters. It features three stripes alternating cerulean blue - white. Each stripe is 30 centimeters high. In the center stripe there is an emblem known as the Sun of May (Spanish: Sol de Mayo), a golden sun. The Sun is modeled after the symbol of Inti, the Incan god of the Sun. Flags with proportions of 1:2 and 2:3 are also in use.

### Colors

The colors are officially defined using the CIE 1976 standard:

Scheme Sky blue Yellow Brown
CIE (L*, a*, b*) 67.27, -6.88, -32.23 74.97, 29.22, 81.58 44.53, 27.16, 22.48
*Black and white are as normal. *Source: http://www.manuelbelgrano.gov.ar/bandera_colores.htm

The following are given for computer, textile, print and plastic use:

Scheme Sky blue Yellow Brown
RGB 117, 170, 219 252, 191, 73 132, 53, 17
Pantone (textile) 16-4132 TC 14-1064 TC 18-1441 TC
Pantone (print) 284 C / 284 U 1235 C / 116 U 483 C / 483 U
Pantone (plastic) Q 300-4-1 Q 030-2-1 Q 120-2-4
Number 75AADB FCBF49 843511
*Source: ibid.

The Spanish word celeste (Sky blue) is used to describe the colour of the blue stripes.

### Sun of May

The sun is called the Sun of May, because it is a replica of an engraving on the first Argentine coin, approved in 1813, whose value was eight escudos (one Spanish dollar). It has 16 straight and 16 waved sunbeams.

In 1978 the sun color was specified to be golden yellow (amarillo oro), to have an inner diameter of 10 cm, and an outer diameter of 25 cm (the diameter of the sun equals $5/6$ the height of the white stripe. The sun's face is $2/5$ of its height). It features 32 rays, 16 undulated and 16 straight, in alternation and from 1978 it must be embroidered in the "Official Flag Ceremony".

## The Influence of the Argentine flag

The Argentine commander Louis-Michel Aury used the Argentine flag as a model for the blue-white-blue flag of the first independent state in Central America, which was created 1818 in Isla de Providencia, an island off the east coast of Nicaragua. This state existed until approximately 1821, before Colombia took over control of these islands. Somewhat later (1823) this flag was again the model for the flag of the United Provinces of Central America,[3][4][5] a confederation of the current Central American states of Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, which existed from 1823 to 1838. After the dissolution of the Union, the five countries became independent, but even today all of these states except Costa Rica use flags of blue-white-blue stripes (the Costa Rican flag has a red stripe superimposed on the white one - the red stripe was added to incorporate all the colors of the French flag). The Argentine flag also inspired the flags of Uruguay and Paraguay.

Current flags of South American countries

 Guatemala El Salvador Honduras Nicaragua Costa Rica Uruguay Paraguay

## Anthems to the flag

### Aurora (Sunrise)

 ```Alta en el cielo, un águila guerrera Audaz se eleva en vuelo triunfal. Azul un ala del color del cielo, Azul un ala del color del mar. Así en el alta aurora irradial. Punta de flecha el áureo rostro imita. Y forma estela el purpurado cuello. El ala es paño, el águila es bandera. Es la bandera de la patria mía, del sol nacido que me ha dado Dios. Es la bandera de la Patria Mía, del sol nacido que me ha dado Dios. ``` ```High in the sky, a warrior eagle rises audacious in its triumphal flight One wing is blue, sky-colored; one wing is blue, sea-colored. In the high radiant aurora its golden face resembles the tip of an arrow. And its purple nape leaves a wake. The wing is cloth, the eagle is a flag. It is the flag of the homeland that God gave me, born of the sun. It is the flag of the homeland that God gave me, born of the sun. ```

Lyrics by Luigi Illica & Héctor Cipriano Quesada, music by Héctor Panizza.

### Salve Argentina (Long live Argentina)

 ```Salve, argentina bandera azul y blanca. Jirón del cielo en donde impera el Sol. Tú, la más noble, la más gloriosa y santa, el firmamento su color te dio. Yo te saludo, bandera de mi Patria, sublime enseña de libertad y honor. Jurando amarte, como así defenderte, mientras palpite mi fiel corazón. ``` ```Hail, Argenta Blue and white flag Part of the sky Where the sun reigns You, The Most Noble The Most Glorious and Saintly The sky gave you its colors I salute you Flag of my motherland Grand symbol of freedom and honour Swearing to love you as well as to defend you for as long as my faithful heart beats ```

### Mi Bandera (My Flag)

 ```Aquí está la bandera idolatrada, la enseña que Belgrano nos legó, cuando triste la Patria esclavizada con valor sus vínculos rompió. Aquí está la bandera esplendorosa que al mundo con sus triunfos admiró, cuando altiva en la lucha y victoriosa la cima de los Andes escaló. Aquí está la bandera que un día en la batalla tremoló triunfal y, llena de orgullo y bizarría, a San Lorenzo se dirigió inmortal. Aquí está, como el cielo refulgente, ostentando sublime majestad, después de haber cruzado el Continente, exclamando a su paso: ¡Libertad! ¡Libertad! ¡Libertad! ``` ```Here is the idolized flag, the flag that Belgrano left to us, when the sad enslaved Homeland bravely broke its bonds. Here is the splendorous flag that surprised the world with its victory, when arrogant and victoriously during the fight climbed the top of the Andes. Here is the flag that one day triumphantly rose in the middle of the battle and, full of pride and gallantry, went immortally to San Lorenzo. Here it is, like the shining sky, showing sublimate majesty after having crossed the continent shouting in its way: "Freedom!" " Freedom! Freedom!" ```

## References

1. ^ La Primera Bandera y su destino (Spanish)
2. ^ Spanish: Soldados de la Patria, en este punto hemos tenido la gloria de vestir la escarapela nacional; en aquél (señalando la batería Independencia) nuestras armas aumentarán sus glorias. Juremos vencer a nuestros enemigos interiores y exteriores y la América del Sud será el templo de la Independencia y de la Libertad. En fe de que así lo juráis decid conmigo: ¡Viva la Patria!" "Señor capitán y tropa destinada por la primera vez a la batería Independencia: id, posesionaos de ella y cumplid el juramento que acabáis de hacer. Proclama dirigida por M. Belgrano a su ejército al enarbolar por primera vez la bandera
3. ^ Felipe Pigna (2005). Los mitos de la Historia Argentina 2.. Argentina: Grupo Editorial Planeta S.A.I.C. 2005. p. 92. ISBN 950-49-1342-3.
4. ^ "Belgrano dejó descendencia en América Central". aimdigital. August 5, 2012. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
5. ^ "El origen de las banderas de centroamérica". mdz online. June 20, 2008. Retrieved June 20, 2013.